TThe U.S. Merchant Marine Academy held its annual Battle Standard Dinner on April 13, 2023. Invited Guests of Honor included The Honorable Christine Wormuth, Secretary of the U.S. Army, and Thomas H. Reilly '46. Reilly was recently awarded the Congressional Gold Medal as a U.S. Merchant Mariner of World War II. Former Congressman Tom Suozzi, who represented New York’s 3rd district from 2017 to 2023 where the USMMA is located, was also in attendance, and recognized for his service as Chairman of the USMMA Board of Visitors.
The Battle Standard Dinner is an annual event at USMMA, hosted by the Senior Class of midshipmen and honors the memory of the 142 cadet-midshipmen who lost their lives during World War II.
Of the Nation’s five federal service academies, USMMA is the only one authorized to carry a battle standard as part of its Color Guard. The Academy’s battle standard proudly commemorates and perpetuates the memory of the cadet-midshipmen who gave the last full measure of devotion in World War II.
During times of war, members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard engage in combat, but the students at their respective service academies do not. The students of USMMA receive an integral part of their training at sea. They have put themselves in harm’s way in every action from WWII to this day. During WWII, 142 cadet-midshipmen joined vessels, but never returned. In their memory, the Battle Standard bears the number “142.”